Sunday Million: bagoch bags $196k, snags first major online title

Sunday Million logo NEW.PNGThis looked to be one of those final tables when the chip leader runs away with it. Armed with more than twice the chips of his closest competitor, a$$ou came in with a huge advantage that served him well all the way to five-handed play. That's when a pair of short stacks sprung into action, snagged most of his stack, and went on to decimate the rest of their opponents en route to finishing one-two. Although WithoutAir made a tremendous effort, this tournament belonged to bagoch, who earned his first major onilne title tonight along with a massive $196k payday.

6,835 players included the Million in their Sunday grind, taking the prize pool up to $1,367,000. 990 spots were paid out, with this week's champion set to earn $207,920.70. Nearly two dozen Red Spades were in the mix, including Lex Veldhuis, Ana Marquez, Andre Akkari, Johnny Lodden, Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen, Nacho Barbero, and Jude Ainsworth. Three finished in the money: Shane "shaniac" Schleger (694th), Henrique Pinho (574th), and Liv Boeree, winning the unofficial last-longer in 344th place.

Bilnds were up to 100,000/200,000 with ten players remaining and JMDA Y SALO was hanging on with 12 big blinds. Dealt 8♦9♦ on the button, JMDA Y SALO opened for a 5x raise to 1 million and bagoch shoved for 4.59 million from the small blind. JMDA Y SALO tossed in his last 1.4 million only to be shown A♥9♣. JMDA Y SALO's dominated hand never improved and he exited in tenth place, setting the final table.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: WithoutAir (5,229,347 in chips)
Seat 2: NoiDoiAA (6,993,574 in chips)
Seat 3: weygang (4,319,782 in chips)
Seat 4: dean23price (3,307,000 in chips)
Seat 5: vadeinpace11 (9,008,358 in chips)
Seat 6: gjta (5,414,896 in chips)
Seat 7: bagoch (7,309,969 in chips)
Seat 8: teckidtq (5,507,979 in chips)
Seat 9: a$$ou (21,259,095 in chips)

dean23price first out at the final table

Short stack dean23price was the first casualty of the final table. Following an opening min-raise from bagoch and a 1.48 million three-bet from a$$ou, dean23price four-bet shoved from the button with A♥Q♣. Bagoch reshoved for 9.3 million, and with a$$ou ducking out of the way, he turned over A♣K♠. Dean23price got no help from the board and departed in ninth place.

weygang and WithoutAir double, vadeinpace11 busts in eighth

45 minutes passed without an elimination, as both remaining short stacks doubled up. Weygang's A♠Q♣ turned a queen against a$$ou's pocket tens to move him up to 7.8 million in chips. WithoutAir got his turn against bagoch, his pocket aces holding against J♣T♣ to increase his stack to 6.1 million. Then, with the blinds up to 200,000/400,000 weygang doubled again with A♣Q♦, flopping an ace against bagoch's pocket nines.

The stalemate finally broke three hands later. Vadeinpace11 open-shoved for 3.9 million with A♣3♦, only to run into teckidtq's A♥K♥ in the big blind. Vadeinpace11 did not improve and went out in eighth place while teckidtq nearly doubled to 8.8 million.

WithoutAir inflates stack, teckidtq unlucky against gjita

By now, WithoutAir's stack had shrunk back to 3.3 million with the blinds up to 250,000/500,000. Pocket eights were certainly good enough to shove with and WithoutAir got a caller in weygang, who revealed A♦K♥. The eights held up on a board that double-paired queens and fives, giving him a reprieve and 7.7 million in chips.

A few hands later, gjita got lucky against teckidtq. All-in with A♠3♥ against A♥T♠, gjita spiked a three on the turn to leave teckidtq on only 1.5 million. Weygang finished teckidtq off a few hands later, teckidtq's UTG shove with 9♥T♥ running straight into weygang's A♣A♥. For seventh place, teckidtq picked up $30,074.00.

gjita seizes the lead eliminates NoiDoiAA

With six players remaining, five had stacks below 22 big blinds while a$$ou held a dominant lead with 32.5 million. NoiDoiAA blinded all the way down to 1 million before pulling the trigger with pocket sixes. Gjita reshoved for 11.2 million to isolate with pocket kings only to have a$$ou join the party from the small blind with A♦Q♥. NoiDoiAA's sixes were toast on the J♣5♦2♥8♦Q♦ board and gjita raked in the 24 million pot to move into the chip lead. A$$ou was still healthy with 21 million, but NoiDoiAA was out in sixth, taking home $43,744.

WithoutAir and bagoch take control as a$$ou blows up

With less than ten big blinds apiece, bagoch and WithoutAir were on life support while the other three sported eight-figure chip counts. WithoutAir won another coinflip for his tournament life, K♣T♦ flopping a king against gjita's 6♥6♣ to take him up to 8.2 million. Bagoch stole enough blinds to move up to 8 million before pilfering a$$ou's big stack when he flopped a flush with J♠T♠ against a$$ou's A♦K♠.

The wheels came off the wagon for a$$ou in the next level, first dropping a 10.4 million pot to gjita, who extracted two streets of value with kings up. Down to 8.4 million in chips, a$$ou then doubled up weygang, his pocket fours falling to pocket kings. Bagoch was the one to deliver the death blow, his A♥J♥ holding up against a$$ou's A♦6♦ in a preflop all-in. Once the runaway chip leader, a$$ou was suddenly on the rail in fifth place.

weygang runs into kings, bagoch rivers gjita

The rest of weygang's chips went in on the next hand. Holding A♣J♣, he three-bet shoved for 7.4 million over bagoch's UTG min-raise, only to run into K♣K♥. Weygang got no help from the board and took home $75,185 for his fourth-place finish.

Gjita hung on for a few more orbits, but decided to go with A♣J♠, open-shoving for 11.2 million on the button. Bagoch looked him up with A♥8♦. Although Gjita's hand was good through the turn, bagoch struck gold on the river, the 8♥ falling to pair his kicker. Although gjita met his end in brutal fashion, he took home a six-figure payday for third place, $109,360 awaiting him in his PokerStars account.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 1: WithoutAir (23,166,656 in chips)
Seat 7: bagoch (45,183,344 in chips)

WithoutAir and bagoch immediately agreed to pause the action to discuss a deal and came to terms almost as quickly. Both players agreed to a chip count chop that left $20,000 in play for the eventual winner. As the cards went back in the air, bagoch was guaranteed at least $176,791 while WithoutAir locked up $164,917.20.

Already armed with almost a 2 to 1 chip lead, bagoch widened the gap even further on the fourth hand of heads-up play. Holding A♠7♥ against WithoutAir's A♣3♠, bagoch three-bet pre and flopped a pair of sevens, good enough to pick up a 12.7 million pot. WithoutAir was left with 15.5 million.

A minute later, it was all over. Although bagoch's A♠9♦ was dominated by WithoutAir's A♦J♠, he wriggled his way out of that jam when he rivered an ace-high flush:

Congratulations to Lithuania's bagoch on his first Sunday Million title and a career-high score of $196,791.00. For his runner-up finish, WithoutAir collected $164,917.20.

PokerStars Sunday Million results for 10-14-2012

Players: 6,835
Prizepool: $1,367,000
Places paid: 990

1. bagoch (Lithuania) $196,791.00*
2. WithoutAir (United Kingdom) $164,917.20*
3. gjita (Russia) $109,360.00
4. weygang (Australia) $75,185.00
5. a$$ou (Canada) $57,414.00
6. NoiDoiAA (Romania) $43,744.00
7. teckidtq (Canada) $30,074.00
8. vadeinpace11 (Russia) $16,404.00
9. dean23price (United Kingdom) $10,594.25

*= reflects the result of a heads-up deal that left $20,000 in play for the winner

Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million